More than 500 million people are living in "absolute poverty"
and more than 15 million children die of hunger every year.
One-third of the population is underfed
and another third is starving.
In Africa, a child dies every three seconds
from AIDS and extreme poverty,
often before their fifth birthday.
Last year, the Philippines ranks No. 5 in the list of countries
with the biggest number of hungry population,
and the only one in Southeast Asia.
Hunger hit a new record high in September with some 3.3 million Filipino
families going hungry at least once according to SWS survey.
Rice used to be the staple food of Filipinos.
Now it is quickly being replaced by instant noodles.
They do not need to go away;
you give them something to eat.”
The narratives of the bible, commonly known as the multiplication of loaves and fishes brings us to the events on where the apostles are confronted with a challenge on how to deal with five thousand hungry men and only a few pieces of food. Andrew’s evaluation of the situation is exactly what we might imagine ours to be; “What good are these few loaves and fishes for so many?" sending them to back to their villages will solve the problems and let us divide the few loaves and fishes with the Lord.
But on the part of Jesus, that was perhaps a good suggestion but it came too late, He already assessed the situation that there is imminent hunger, no immediate food, no means to secure for it and by sending the people to their own villages, they might simply faint on the way. So, something immediate must be done. The five loaves and two fish must MULTIPLY to feed the hungry crowd!
The bible draws us to the real miracle behind the story of Jesus of feeding the 5,000 people - it was an example of self sacrifice, His disciples shared the little they had. They inspired those who had brought food to share it. That greatest miracle was what happened in the heart and mind of those who had more than they needed. They shared the little they had with the hungry and all had enough.
It’s all about equal sharing. That we don’t have in the Philippines except among the poor. That’s how they survive; they share and help each other.
In a nation that claims 80 percent Christian, the extent of hunger and poverty is an evidence that the teaching of Jesus is not practiced, that the preachers and teachers have apparently failed to inspire the development of a society built on social justice. That’s the kind of miracle we need in the modern world and especially for the Philippine elite - to eradicate greed in the hearts of the rich and people in power, the greed that forms basic foundation for graft and corruption, and the exploitation of the poor.
Tonight as we take our dinner alone or with our family, let us pray and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the food in our table and the abundant blessings that we are enjoying in life, and seek His divine mercy on our neglected "kababayans" who have been deprived of food and shelter, and may His spirit open our hearts, that we may find compassion , spread love and charity to the under privileged, to practice self sacrifice and equal sharing which He has taught us in the lessons of multiplication of loaves and fishes.
On April 29, BlogCatalog members and Heifer International are partnering to call for the end of world hunger and start of hope - let us bring into conciousness the sad reality of hunger in the Philippines and around the world in the 21st century.
"What I can do, you cannot
What you can do, I cannot
But together, we can do
Something Beautiful For God"
Mother Teresa, 1910-1997